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Japanese Government Prepared to Take Reins of Fukushima Response

Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (R), wearing a protective suit and a mask, inspects contaminated water tanks at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture August 26, 2013, in this phot
The head of Japan's nuclear regulatory agency says it is possible that radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant will have to be released into the sea.

Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka told reporters Monday the toxic water would be filtered to bring the radiation levels below internationally accepted limits before it is discharged into the sea.

Engineers have been struggling to store water used to cool the plant's nuclear reactors, which sustained a meltdown after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Officials with Tokyo Electric Power Company, Fukushima's operator, announced Sunday that a pipe connecting two other tanks is leaking contaminated water.

Officials announced the day before that it had detected a potentially fatal level of 1,800 millisieverts per hour at one of the holding tanks.

Japanese government officials have suggested they will announce a set of measures this week aimed at resolving the crisis.